As our society ages and the population lives longer, many of us are finding ourselves stepping into that caregiver role. Approximately, 117 million Americans will need daily living assistance by 2020 an increase of 13%, but only 45 million people will step into the caregiver role. When you are asked to be the primary caregiver for an elderly individual, your life will change dramatically. Not only will this be a rewarding experience, but it will also be extremely challenging.
Whether your loved one maintains some independence or is completely dependent on their care needs, you may find yourself wondering how to accomplish the tasks of a caregiver. The following are some devices to make your job easier while serving the needs of your loved one.
1. Location Tracking Devices
Location tracking devices are great tools for caregivers of those who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. The detriment on memory caused by these conditions can result in them wandering off and forgetting where — or even who — they are. A tracking device can help ensure your loved one’s safety when you aren’t there to supervise them. The cost of these devices has significantly declined as technology is now more affordable for the average consumer.
By providing your elderly loved ones with a wearable GPS device, you will be able to locate them should they become drawn away from home. Cellular technology makes it possible to get real-time location updates when you need it. Boundaries can be set on these devices so your loved ones can enjoy some independence in a designated safe zone before you’re alerted.
2. Medical Alert Systems
Do you remember the old “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” TV commercials from Life Alert? Medical alert systems are reliable tools for elderly persons as well as individuals with special medical needs. They are simple medical monitoring devices that can be set up in the home or worn like a watch or pendant. Medical alert systems use cellular technology or landlines to allow communication with emergency operators. The systems may be fitted with sensors to sense emergencies and request help automatically, or a user may request help with the push of a button. Users of medical alert systems establish a health file with the system provider so key details like medical history and prescription medications can be shared with any emergency responders dispatched to the scene.
Extra accessories and features may be available with medical alert systems, depending on the provider. Extra buttons and pendants can be added to expand the whole home or mobile coverage. Features such as GPS tracking or chemical sensors can add additional safety options for those who need it. Not all medical alert systems are made the same, however. Seeking a medical alert system review site can help you learn about the available systems and make the choice that’s right for you.
3. Medication Tracking Devices
Medication management is a serious concern for elderly individuals. More than half of elderly adults take five or more medications daily, and two-thirds of them don’t take enough of the medication they’re prescribed. For those who need to take numerous medications daily, it can become difficult to manage, especially with age and age-related conditions. It’s easy for elderly individuals to forget to take doses, especially at specific times throughout the day. Due to these challenges and the demanding schedule of a caregiver, medication tracking devices can be helpful for proper medication management.
Medication tracking devices can be a simple pillbox affixed with timers, or an advanced automated pill dispenser with beeps to remind caregivers and elderly persons when a dose is due to be taken. Other options include smartphone apps or personal alarms with multiple reminder settings. They can also remind both caregiver and patient of appointments. These devices utilize technology for simple reminders that better serve the busy lives of you and your loved one.
As a caregiver, you strive to do everything you can to ensure your loved one is cared for and safe. With technology ever evolving, there is an endless supply of devices to help you with this important responsibility. Before making any purchase, take some time to research reviews and the type of devices you need with the variety of features available. With some time and little expense, you can find the devices to make your work easier and give your loved one the personalized support they need.